Home Shows No Hell Like an Old Hell

Galería Hilario Galguera Madrid, presents Martin Eder’s (Germany, 1968) first exhibition in Spain entitled No Hell Like an Old Hell, composed of 13 recent paintings.

The title of the exhibition corresponds to a fragment of the lyrics of the song The Motel, by David Bowie, which laments the hellish purgatory of artistic reflection on the exhilarating excitement of earlier life. In Eder’s paintings this is presented through the gap and disconnect between a seductive kitsch aesthetic that suggests the possibility of decadent pop cultural consumption, and the exposed and fragile subjects on whom you gaze, exuding a nostalgia of lost or unattainable dreams.

The technical mastery and formal precision of the painter’s brush, the brightness, selection and chromatic combination and compositional balance, all attract the gaze. We are drawn involuntarily into a vacuum of internet culture. The works reveal a meme folder of hairless cats with wings, neon blues and pinks, and suggestive cosplay, a world disturbing, all-encompassing, with an almost material presence that blurs the boundaries between virtual and physical reality. The superficial lustre of the oil paint surface disguises a dystopian present, a mirror to the veiled sadness of existing in a contemporary world marked by the popular values of late capitalism.

Through this approach, Eder collapses the traditional worlds of high and low art, as technique and subject come together in reference to Renaissance or Impressionist nudes reminiscent of Botticelli and Manet, or Cezanne’s expressive still life skulls, even reaching the height of the vanitas of Juan de Valdés Leal. However, they are transformed into the everyday online content of emo aesthetics, with serpents, tattooed backs, dyed hair. It is a provocation to the arbiters of taste who exclude the wide-ranging possibilities of contemporary desire, bizarre, occult, and ugly. Eder fulfils his desire to ‘look for beauty in filth’, in the nostalgia of bygones.

As Jean Genet said, despite the beauty of form “every man has the same value as any other: a kind of universal identity of all men (...), bodies fulfill their functions: they digest, they warm, they weigh, they smell, they shit.” (What Remains of a Rembrandt Torn into Four Equal Pieces and Flushed Down the Toilet, 1951.) In the perverse and banal margins of contemporary culture we see ourselves exposed as conflicted and insatiable vehicles of desire, consumption, nostalgia, and despair. And yet in all this darkness, we find a shared humanity.

During his artistic career Martin Eder has exhibited internationally, with solo shows at venues such as HENI Gallery, London, UK (2022), Zentrum für Gegenwartskunst Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany (2022) and PSYCHIC, MUDAM, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (2017), Newport Street Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2018), Galeria Hilario Galguera, Mexico City, Mexico (2016) . He has participated in group exhibitions at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2022) and Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, Switzerland (2018), among others. His works are in prestigious collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, USA and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA, Murderme Collection, London, United Kingdom.

The exhibition will be open to the public during gallery hours from February 21 to April 20, 2023.

Tuesday to Friday: 11:00 - 19:00 h. Saturday: 11:00 - 14:00 h

Contact: madrid@galeriahilariogalguera.com